Teacher tips: Reading aloud

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Reading aloud to children is an art (1)


Pinkali Chatterjee

Reading aloud to children often comes very naturally to most parents and teachers. But to make the children listen, enjoy, participate, feel interested and understand, the simple act of reading aloud has to be perfected by love and attention towards every detail. Reading aloud to children is an art, which if perfected, can achieve a mesmerized audience who will eventually grow a love of literature. Here are a few tips to chisel the act of reading aloud and take it to the level of an art.

Prepare yourself.

Know your audience, their age group, their possible language skills and emotional development. Decide which book to read, go through it once, learn about the author, and think of examples and common life experiences of the children that may help them relate to the story. Think of some activities that can be done or something that you can give them at the end of the reading to bring the story to life.

Choose the book with care.

The choice of the book is a very important thing in making a read aloud session successful. The book should be chosen keeping in mind the age group and their possible intellectual, language and emotional development. A book that is above the emotional level of the group will not attract their attention. At the same time, you must like the book and find it interesting. If you read a book that you cannot like, you can never pour in the required energy in the reading. It is always better if you can chose a book that you like and is not above their intellectual level and yet contains something that will enhance their knowledge and language skills in some way. Picture books with very few words and predictable books are ideal for preschoolers, while a little fable or fairy tale would be better for the kindergarten age group.

Hold the book right.

If you are reading to one or two children sitting on your lap or beside you, the book can be in front of you. But if you are reading in front of many children sitting around you, it is critical to hold the book in the right position. Sit in the middle on a slightly elevated seat while the children sit around you. Hold the book towards the children so that all of them can see the pictures. This is particularly important if the reading session is with very young children. Reading the book, thus facing away from you, is also a skill that you have to practice. If you are reading to older children who have developed some reading skills, you can just read the book and hold it towards them only when there is a picture to be shown.

Act with your voice.

Here comes the main tip. Your voice and the author’s words must work together to form the living picture of the story you are going to read. Your voice can do a lot of things. It can be loud and soft, fast and slow, high and low, harsh and sweet. It’s the modulation in your voice, the rhythm of the words, the pause and the emphasis, that is like music to the ears of the children. And it has the same effect that music has. It has direct access to their unconscious. For example, if you read the words “then he whispered…” in a husky low voice, even the child who didn’t know the meaning of ‘whisper’ would understand it. Changing the tone of the voice a little with each character in the story also brings in the dramatic effect that keeps the children’s attention in the story. For example: the wolf’s harsh voice trying to be sweet in “Red Riding Hood” should contrast with the Grandma’s real voice or the little girl’s soft voice. Sound effects can also be made with the voice to add flavor to the story. The tension in the story or the relaxed mood should be brought to life by the voice modulations. It is not very difficult. Just pay attention to all the details and feel the story while reading it. Your voice will naturally echo the mood of the text.

Vary the pace.

Start the story slowly. And read slowly and clearly so that the children can listen and understand well. Having said that, it is important to point out that varying the pace is an important part of bringing in the dramatic effect of a story. For example when you read “Up and up and up she climbed—higher and higher and higher. Faster and faster and faster until—there she was, right at the very top!” you have to match the pace with the excitement and read faster. But at the more suspenseful portions of the narrative a soft and slow voice helps to build up the suspense. The ending is also usually better if read very slowly savoring every word, “And they lived happily ever after”.

Use the pause.

A pause can be used very effectively while reading a story. It is a great tool for introducing a dramatic mood change in the story. The pause also helps build up the suspense and draws attention. A pause before a character’s words in quotes is also necessary. Use it effectively and it will make children eager to listen to what comes after it.

Talk with your eyes.

While reading a story aloud, let its emotional value show through your eyes. Eyes are the most expressive parts of our body. Don’t let a curtain fall on them while you read. Read with your eyes alive with wonder, suspense, excitement or fear, sharing all the emotions of the characters. Widen your eyes, narrow them, make them think, make them happy or sad. The story should be in the eyes as much as it is in the mouth.

Use your body language.

Not only should your eyes, your whole body should speak while you are reading a story. Make gestures with your hands, fingers and shoulders. For example, while reading about a search, make gestures moving your head this way and that as if you are searching. Gestures are always helpful but they are particularly necessary for younger children with little language skills. Little gestures help them to understand new words. Funny gestures help them to have a good laugh and understand the humor of the situation.


This is a very important tip. Never read the story from beginning to the end without asking questions and talking with your little audience. Talk about the pictures in the book. Ask them what they think the picture is about. Ask questions depending on their age and level of comprehension. Ask questions that will stir their curiosity but not make them feel that they are sitting at an exam. Answer the question yourself if you don’t get an answer. Don’t press too much with the question. Often also use rhetoric questions or questions that you are going to answer. Talking about the picture and letting them guess before turning to the next page helps as the young children usually pay more attention to the picture and have a lot to ask and say about what they see there.

React to their reactions.

Keep an eye towards the children’s reactions while reading. If you see signs of boredom or distractions, better react to it with throwing a question or with a sudden interesting change in your tone and giving in a little interesting piece of fact related to the story. A “Do you know…” can often attract attention. For example, while reading a story about a penguin you may renew attention by asking, “Do you know how the penguin walks?” “Can anyone show me?” If no one volunteers then you may yourself stand up and do a little silly waddling. This will sure bring back cheer and interest in the session.

Use your fingers.

Use your fingers to point to the pictures and words in the book. While reading a book for the first time, point to the pictures. Try to point to pictures of the characters, while telling their names. You can point to some words that they already know and are easy to spell. While reading the story second or third time you can run your fingers under the words. This will draw their attention towards the written words as the source of the story.

Use some accessories

Bring the story to life with some accessories. It can be a toy or some food or anything that relates to the story. For example, after reading a story about a ginger bread man or cookies in Christmas you can give them some ginger bread cookies. This will make them relate the story to real life. Before starting a story on bears you can bring a teddy and ask them whether they love teddy bears and what they know about bears. You can also plan some activity at the end that has some relation to the story. For example, you can ask them to draw a cat after a story about cats. You can read and dance together to a rhyme or song on the same subject as the story was.

Finish the story properly

Never hurry at the end. The finish of the story is very important for making the children want to read it again. Read the last lines slowly savoring the flavor and throwing in the impact so that even after it ends the essence lingers and stays.

Discuss at the end

After finishing the story, talk about it. Ask them questions and tell them the moral or message in the story. Discuss about the portion you liked best and ask which part did they like most. Talk about the characters. You can also discuss about similar stories that you have read. Talking about the author is also a very good thing. You can tell them something about the real person who wrote the story and talk about some other stories that he wrote. This discussion will also help you understand the success of your story telling session and help you figure out what to do if you plan to read the story again.Reading aloud to children is a rewarding experience for both the children and the parents or teachers. Try to make it beautiful by being truely involved and bringing the story into life. All you need is a little imagination and a lot of energy. Happy reading.

keep the reading time consistent (2)

Alexander Darracott

Reading aloud to children should be a progressive process beginning with short stories or even a series of short sentences for babies and small toddlers to reading through entire books, or chapters of books, throughout their primary school years.  No primary school child should be expected to read Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit, but each child is different so it is important that any reading session is developed so that it matches the child’s level of reading and comprehension.  Allow the child to select which books they would like to read as this encourages independent thinking.

With a single child, sit the child with you whilst you are reading to them.  If you have more than one child, split the time spent between each child.  Determine the best time for reading aloud to children: straight after school whilst their minds are still buzzing from the day’s learning activities, straight after their main evening meal, or before their bedtime.  Either way, it is important to keep the reading time consistent because it can teach children the importance of discipline and structure.  Show them the words as they are being read by running your finger across each line of text.  Read clearly and slowly in accordance to their each child’s level of understanding so that they can hear clearly what is being read. Running your finger across each line of text shows children the words that are being read aloud, therefore helping them with their word sound association. Encourage the child to ask questions if they come across a word that they do not understand and, if applicable, encourage the child to navigate a dictionary to find out the meaning of a words they do not understand.  This will help to develop an enquiring mind, and to help them understand and use resources that can help them with their learning. In their later primary school years, it might be a good idea to introduce a thesaurus.  This will help to develop the skills that they need to become independent readers and learners.

Develop their comprehension and listening skills through asking them questions about what has been read regarding the actions of characters and general events of the book or chapter.  Remember there are two types of comprehension: word comprehension, and story event comprehension. Word comprehension involves the child understanding the meaning of a word in the context that it is being used as well as the word sound association. Story comprehension means they understand the main idea of the story, about the main characters and events of the story, and, perhaps, be able to change the story with different events.    As well as the adult reading aloud to children, encourage the child to read aloud as well as this will test the child for their reading efficiency and fluency and also help them to increase their reading fluency skills.  Praise and reward a child for good reading and good understanding of words and events, but guide and encourage them if they begin to struggle. Criticism and shouting will achieve nothing as this will reduce a child’s confidence in their reading skills, and develop a dislike for reading.

Be imaginative and creative in the approach to reading aloud to children.  Poetry can especially be used as a useful teaching tool for teaching children about rhymes and rhythms because games could be set up that revolve around children guessing and selecting the correct rhyming word. This in turn can be creative: read aloud to the children but let them guess the rhyming word, or present two short rhyming sentences to children but let them choose words that rhyme.  Talk thought their selection to determine if they understand the meaning of the selected words and the meaning of the sentences.

Interactivity and enquiry are the key elements of reading aloud to children: interactivity meaning to encourage the child to learn new words, develop their vocabulary, word sound associations and general understanding of the English language.  Enquiry meaning to encourage children to ask questions about words and situations that they do not understand in books, and checking for their understanding by asking them questions about the story or chapter to test their listening and comprehension skills.


Children love to be entertained (3)

Linda S. Watts

Whether one-on-one or at group story time, children love when adult read to them. Bringing a book to life not only sparks their imagination but encourages them to want to read themselves. Children love to be entertained. Depending upon how you bring the story to life may influence children’s interest in reading other books. Here are a few tips on how to make reading to children fun and interactive.

Be Prepared

Before reading to children, make sure you have read the book ahead of time. This will help you become familiar with the story and give you ideas on how to make the story time experience more interactive. If you feel self-conscious, read the book several times and practice ways to tell the story in a way that if fun and engaging to the children’s age level.

Let Your Voice Act it out

Reading in monotones is boring for people of all ages. Children are no different. Add emotion to your voice that reflects the story. Have a different voice for different characters. This will help children connect with the characters and the storyline.

Add Sound Effects

Don’t forget to add sound effects. This is another way to bring the story to life and keep the child engaged. This could be subtle sounds or louder sounds. Many children’s books have sound effect words such as bang, creak, and whoosh. Don’t just read the sound, make the sound.

Use Body Language

Add some body language techniques to act the story out. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to jump up and act the whole story out in actions. This could mean simply using facial expressions and other simple gestures to bring the story to life from a seated position.

Ask Questions

Encourage critical thinking and comprehension by asking questions. Ask questions about the pictures. Get the child to be more observant on how the illustrations tie into the story being told. Also ask question about the story. This could be simply asking the children what they think the character will do next. After the story, ask more questions. This helps encourage listening skills.

Start Early

Start making reading to children a habit early on. There is not a child who is too young to have a book read to them, this includes infants. For infants, choose bright colored books to capture their natural curiosity. Picture books allow you to possibly make up your own story each time you and your infant look through the book. As they move into becoming a toddler, encourage them to make up their own story to go with the picture book.

Follow the Words with Your Fingers

Especially in one-on-one cases, follow the words with your fingers as you read aloud to the child. This encourages the child to read themselves. Young readers will be able to follow along and possibly learn to read new words, thus increasing their reading vocabulary.

Bed Time Stories

Start early and get into the habit of reading to your child at bed time. When making bed time stories interactive remember to use subtle sounds and voices. This is a time you want the little ones to settle down not get overly excited. For the younger children, try to have a selection of bed time stories for them to choose from. These are soft story lines, possibly about bed time or going to sleep, that you can still make interactive. Not only is reading your child a story at bed time a great way to spend quality time with your child but it will get them into a habit of reading before bed. Reading anytime is great but encouraging older children to read before helps them unwind along with strengthening reading skills. By starting this bed time routine while they are infants, this habit will most likely become a part of their daily lives.

Family Story Time

Even though your children may be older and can read for themselves, plan a time for family story time. Turn off the television, phones, and any other distractions. As a family, decide which book to read. Also decide how long family story time will be. Take turns reading the book aloud. This will help promote strong reading skills. Make reading to children an experience that is engaging and fun. Don’t worry about whether you sound or act silly. Younger children thrive on stories that are fun and entertaining. By making the reading experience interactive you will open up them up to a world of imagination that will allow them to see how much fun reading can be.

improve their reading skills (4)


Puja Chandra

While it is settled that reading aloud to your child is the best way you can improve their reading skills; it is also imperative to learn the correct technique to do so  in order to enhance the experience of both the parent-reader and the child- listener. Though everyone is born with a different style of reading and emoting, certain tips which can be universally adopted to read aloud better to children.
perfect story

Stories which have a lot of scope for dramatization and emoting like mystery or adventure books are the ones which are perfect for older children. Books for toddlers and young children which are full of songs and nursery rhymes can  also be perfect reads. Or conversely let your child pick up the story which he wants you to read for him. This involves him even before you start reading. You may be reading it for the 20th time but don’t let that take away from your enthusiasm.

right time;

Choose a time when your child is likely to be most attentive. Bed time should be reserved for softer stories which are light on emotions and help a child relax and wade to sleep. Also remember to choose a time when you are most likely not to be distracted by the oven alarm, the door bell or text messages. Children usually lack the patience to hang around while the reader is away. Importantly, choose a time when you yourself are relaxed, calm and game for some fun!

right place;

It is imperative that the place where you read aloud is one which is least prone to disturbances and distractions. Children’s play area can be a difficult place to keep the child’s attention to a story. Avoid the kitchen with its various smells and sounds. The study is the best place to read as the whole atmosphere is reader friendly and even a toddler can feel grown up and important there.

Give it all you have;

This has to be the most important tip of it all. Children are very sharp at detecting when you are faking enthusiasm or treating the whole exercise as a chore you want to somehow get over with. Reading aloud is all about sharing, engaging and loads of bubbly enthusiasm. Someone rightly said,‘’Learning to read takes practice. Loving to read takes enthusiasm’’ So let your emotions shine through with the modulation of your voice, tone and pitch. Let your eyes smile and dance with the words in the story and let your face be the mirror of the mood of the story-line. Go on, don’t hold back, give it all you have and your child will appreciate it by pitching in and participating whole-heartedly.

Sound effects, props and more

Pause for effect. Don’t forget to pause at the end of a sentence or some turning point in the story. You can even do a little ‘rat-a tat’ at the end of each page so that your child can count page numbers with you – it also helps stave off boredom in long books.
Don’t be miserly with the sound effects. If you can, then whistle, toot, wheesh, rattle; it will not only add to the reading and to the story, it will make your child jump for joy! For infants and preschoolers, use props and real-life examples they can hold, smell or taste. This makes them feel important and involved.

Make it an interactive session

Ask many questions and answer even more. An interactive session is the heart of a reading aloud session and makes it worth the while for everyone. Encourage your child to ask questions at the end of the story or even raise his hand if he is really eager to know something in the middle of one. Play the guess game with older children. ‘Guess what happened next?’ makes everyone racking their brains for ideas. Excellent trick to keep a big group of children engaged till the end. Younger children can be prompted into reaching their own conclusions and guessing too by giving them hints.Let the older children take turns in reading out a page each. That helps in building confidence in reading skills as well as in sustaining interest. For younger children, it is helpful to trace the words with a finger and let the child point to a related image. Remember that even if you do not master the technique every time you read it is important to keep reading aloud to your child and reading with love and genuine enthusiasm.


most rewarding, easy, fun activities (5)


Nan C Avery

Parents reading aloud to their child is one of the most rewarding, easy and fun activities. It does not require any special skills. Here, are a few tips that will make reading aloud to your child a delight for both of you. Your child’s smile as he/she cuddles next to you makes it all worthwhile.

1– When beginning to read to a young child, you should choose a short book that is read in 15 minutes from beginning to end. Lengthen the time as your child develops his/her listening skills and the story holds his or her attention.

2: If you are unfamiliar with a story, preread it to yourself, before reading to your preschooler. It will only take a couple of minutes to preview and you will feel confident reading aloud. This advice is for those who are uncomfortable reading aloud. After you have read a few times, you probably will not need to preview.

3 – When you preview the book, see if there are places you can make sound effects. For example, a knock on the door, or rain (pitter-patter, whisper). Note, only do this if you feel comfortable.

4 – You choose the first book to read. You can choose a story that was a favorite from your childhood or pick another book.

5 – Do not stay with one genre, select different types of books. Nursery rhymes are excellent for small children.

6: Your child will probably have a favorite story that he/she will want you to read over and over again. The child relates to something in the story that resonates within them.

7: If a story has become familiar, you can have the child repeat the repetitive parts. For example, Hickory, Dickery, Dock is repeated several times. When it is time for your child to repeat, pause, and say, “Can you tell me the words?” If not at this time, at a later date your child will share.

8: On occasion, your child will want to “read” to you. As they mimic your words, please do not correct them. Encourage them and reward them by expressing enthusiasm. This will help your child feel confident about reading.

Reading to your child will build confidence, comprehension, vocabulary and a love of reading. You are the model and your love will come through to the child. Do not make it tough on yourself by thinking you have to perform when reading, nor do you have to “teach” anything – except, of course, a love of books by example. Make the reading time fun and joyful. Reading aloud to your child is a time of bonding.

activity for building language fluency (6)

Disinvestment Supporter

Reading aloud is the most fundamental activity for building language fluency. While it should begin in the home at an early age, teachers can effectively use the read-aloud to build student motivation, teach comprehension strategies, and model vital skills for older students, such as summarizing and adopting different perspectives. The tips suggested for carrying out this activity will depend somewhat on the goal an educator is seeking to accomplish. First though we will consider the general strategies for emerging readers.

* Reading aloud for younger students is best performed as an audio-visual learning experience. The smaller format books are fine for parents with a child sitting in their lap, but large, illustrated books are necessary for a class. Since this activity should be a regular one for emerging readers, choose several books with similar themes to help build background knowledge. Students will get the opportunity to practice activating previous knowledge with each one, and discussions will become more insightful.

* Model examining the book for the class. Cover art and the title should be used to move students into a vital phase of comprehension called prediction. Take time to let students respond to questions such as “why do you think I chose this book?” and “What do you think this book will be about?” Development of critical thinking skills begins early, so try to stay away from easy questions that invite only one response.  “What color is the ball?” should be reserved for younger children just learning to speak and build vocabulary.

* Reading aloud is a performance and should be prepared for as such. Much of the time, you’ll want to be holding the book up for everyone to see, so it helps to have read it several times and be familiar with the text. Perform it a couple of times for yourself or an audience to practice the voices of different characters, facial gestures, and the voice inflections suggested by the grammar. Remember, the point is to model reading fluency so the students can focus on comprehension. Fluency here means flow, and accuracy counts as students will be passively absorbing this aspect of the experience while they actively digest the story.

* Repetition is extremely important to language arts skills. At the early stages, this means using the same text several times and including some texts that incorporate rhyming and rhythm schemes.

* Interruptions of the performance should be avoided for now to maintain flow, and likely students will be enjoying the experience so much you’ll have no problem with this.

* After the reading, ask students questions about the story. Stay away from closed questions that invite short responses. Remember, this activity is for building student comprehension, so your questions should be designed to assess whether this is being achieved. Ask students to volunteer to retell the story or just go around the room. This is a difficult skill to learn for many, and other students should be given a chance to pick up the plot’s thread before you step in with a prompt. A prompt can be actually supplying a missing part of the plot or revisiting illustrations from that part of the story. Questions about the story should be phrased simply and have no correct answers. “What if” questions will allow students to use the story you just read as well as their imaginations. Questions about the illustrations can lead into discussions of historical time periods and settings, as well as the emotional states of characters.

The rules change for more developed readers. It will still be worthwhile to read from illustrated books, but be sure to use books with more sophisticated vocabulary and grammar that are tied in with their studies in other subjects. There should be just as much attention paid to preparing for the performance, because the goal is the same. You are doing the work of reading for them so that they can focus on comprehending the story and making connections. More developed students will have stronger attention spans and more fluency, so you should focus more on active comprehension. The best way to do this is to stop at pre-determined key points in the plot to ask students what they think of the characters’ actions, what they think may happen next, and what they would do if presented with similar problems.Stronger readers will also benefit from the instructor modelling internal dialogue as well. This exercise is referred to as a think-aloud. This will require that students be able to read along, so either have a copy of the book for the entire group or use technology like an overhead projector. The point here is to model the thoughts that fluent readers have while reading, so questions will be directed at the text or author and observations will be self-directed.

Preparation for the think-aloud should be carried out just as with the read-aloud. You’ll want to make notes in your version of the text or practice until you feel comfortable. Some examples of what to model follow:

* Model the activation of previous knowledge. “This reminds me of…” statements are most useful. It could be a memory of a previous book read in class, something from your childhood, or an event that happened before the children were born.

* Model visualization of imagery, time, and space. Statements should be directed toward understanding how something the characters are experiencing feels, looks, or sounds. Note changes in location, how far or near, as well as time changes, such as “Now Johnny is remembering what happened three years ago, he would have been eight then.”

* Model questions of the text/author and yourself, as well as answers. “What will happen next?” might be used to model the educated guess. Express curiosity about some newly introduced topic, take a note and ask of yourself, “where could I find more information about this?”

* Model analysis of the author’s word choices and illustrations. “What does the strawberry patch have to do with Billy’s mom getting sick?” “Susan refers to Grant as her buddy and the other kids as her friends. I wonder if she has known Grant longer.” Often authors will use one or two words repetitively to foreshadow plot development, and fluent readers will pick up on this.

The think-aloud can be used to move students into other genres of text as well. The instructor will model information as it is learned from the text, such as “this statement means I need to keep an eye out for the three major differences.” Fluent readers will often recall what they have just read in preparation for the next bit of information, as in “so far I know this…” Pick out a few more difficult words to model taking a note of what to look up later. Evaluate how a persuasive essay has changed your previous thoughts on a topic. Think aloud the reasons why you liked a particular quote from a character or description of a butterfly’s metamorphosis. The only limits here are your imagination and the amount of time you can effectively spend on modelling these aspects of comprehension. Pay attention to your audience for cues, and don’t wear them out!

Reading aloud should be used most with pre and emerging readers audiences, as increasing comprehension will aid them greatly in decoding text on their own. It is still a great tool for more developed readers, allowing instructors to model various strategies for making sense of different kinds of text and learning skills like summarizing. As with any teacher-centered activity, reading aloud will work best with plenty of preparation.




how the words and pictures interact (7)


Effie Moore Salem

Reading aloud to children is easy, is rewarding, and everyone can do it, so what’s the problem?  Who needs tips is possibly a question parents, authors, and others with special knowledge and education might ask of themselves when preparing to read to children in a school or a library setting. Or even writers asked to comment on reading aloud may be wondering what to write.

Whatever, reading aloud to children is a worthy activity and therefore demands forethought. What,  where, when and how tips are invaluable. An article from The Horn Book explains the process:

“You will find that the right books have certain elements in common: the themes are clearly defined; plots develop logically and progressively with few, if any, flashbacks; the characters are memorable; there is often an element of suspense, perhaps a problem that must be solved, to keep readers interested. They are child-centered, but never cute.”

Reading in classroom to several children have problems mothers at home reading to their children don’t have. Distance is to be considered. Most teachers gather their students around them and read slowly, loud enough to be heard, and with expression.  After they’ve read a sentence or two, the book will be held up facing them so they can see how the words and pictures interact.

Extra curricular noise should be at a minimum whether one is reading to a child at home, or a teacher in a classroom. The only sounds heard should be the words being read and the response of the children: laughter, or answers to questions asked by the reader.

Reading to children at home pose problems such as distraction by other family members, pets wanting attention, a blaring television, or even a reader rushing through to get it over with quickly. However reading at home is managed, it must never become a chore. Children need to know that the reading aloud sessions from parents are fun for them as well.

Read aloud at every chance instead of one long reading session, read words and phrases from cereal boxes, from roadside signs, from the newspaper, from the covers of older siblings books, just read.  Get the child to understand that reading is something special to be shared with them, and in turn, they will accept it as such. They will be made aware that words are important and that each one of them have a purpose, a special meaning. Make them want to know what thought, what direction, or what idea lies behind all those words they don’t yet know.

Reading aloud is directed conversation and is words originating from someone else. That is the only difference from simply talking clearly and with meaning to children. Don’t ever get in the habit of baby talking to your children no matter how cute you think it is. Don’t do it even when they’re babies. Even these little cuties learn to talk by mimicking what they hear. Instead, speak softly with meaning,  love and an expressive face to show endearments while saying the word as they will need to hear it. In this way they’ll learn better how to form words.

Make sure books are a big item with your child. Never allow them to tear or mutilate them. Explain that when they’re finished with the book, some other child will be the happy recipient of it. It that brings a negative response from a potential book collector, appeal to their sense of how important it is to take care of their possessions.

It is common today for parents to speak one, two or several languages, at least in some countries, but in reading, stick to the one that is your first, your most important language. It only makes sense to read to the child in the language they will using when they begin school. Save that second language for those sessions devoted to learning that extra language.  Reading daily is important and for the very young child it is better to read from their familiar books since they seem to find comfort in them. When introducing a new book, introduce it after reading a book that the child selects. Do this until they are curious enough to want to know all about the first book.

first becomes a listener and then observer (8)

Binaya Ghimire

When you begin to read aloud to the children, they will show different reactions. You must comprehend the different stages of reading aloud. As you set yourself on this task, reading aloud to the children, you will find that the child at first becomes a listener and then the observer. While the reading aloud session becomes a regular activity, children participation increases. They will begin to show expression on their faces, raise questions, and ask to reread some lines.

There are different ways of reading aloud. Your voice tempo, choice of reading text etc. depends on the age of a child you are reading to. To encourage your child’s social interactivity, you have to embellish the text with questions, extensions, and dramatizations in a way that engages him. If the child is between three and five years, you have to read with an expressive voice, using sound effects for things such as animals, vehicles, and actions. Draw out the animal sounds: Meow-meow, vow-vow.  Open and shut both hands to imitate a twinkling star when you are singing ‘‘twinkle, twinkle.’’ It is recommended to take the child on the terrace or garden at night, and look at the stars, and let him notice the twinkling, as you sing the rhyme.

If it is a book with illustrations or a touch-and-feel book, wait a few seconds to give your child response time. Help your toddler touch the different textures on each page with his little hand. Hold and cuddle him when you are reading. Ask him if he would like to turn the page. Help him to physically interact with the book by holding his hand and pointing his finger to the illustrations. While reading aloud to the children of five to seven, remember to pause very often. Remain on each page as long as he shows interest. Respond to your children’s queries and make eye contact. Ask her questions based on reading. If she can’t answer, give her clues, and help complete the sentence. Engage in conversation by taking turns, looking at the children and then responding to them.

The children between the age of seven and ten must not at once be burdened by introducing clumsy texts. Allow your child to be your guide while looking for reading material. By making that choice, you will give your child a powerful boost of language development. The most important thing about your reading session is you are providing love, attention and intimacy.

You don’t have a compulsion to finish a book, you can start at any place, even read the section your child likes the most. You can dramatize different parts with a variety of voice inflections and tones. Your children may even want to hear you reading different books in the single reading session. They may also want to you to reread. Repeated readings are good for children’s language development. Children love to hear the same story again and again. Know the interest of your children as they begin to grow up. You have to be careful about the reading text. When you are reading to the children between the ten and fifteen years, you have to be careful about not to generalize the daughter and the son.

Try to be consistent regarding your reading time. If you have a fixed reading time, everyday your child will begin to look for it. Even if your children are not interested, don’t give up. Make the reading schedule a regular process. Think that your reading aloud is not so different from your instruction to your son for riding a bike. You don’t give up because he fell off the bike couple of times, do you?In the course of time, your daily activity of reading aloud will show results.

their imagination will help you (9)

Cathy Wilson

The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.’  At least that’s what Dr. Seuss thinks and I hear he’s a very smart guy!Reading to your child is the most important tool in helping them learn.  Taking just 15 minutes before bed to tap into their imagination will help you stay connected with them, while teaching them.


Short and sweet does the trick.  Make sure the story you are reading isn’t too long.  For instance,  a two year-old doesn’t have the concentration to sit and listen to you read for an hour.  Pick a short book of ten minutes or less.   Even with older kids there’s no need to read three or four books.  Have them pick out one or two and read away!

‘Be’ the Part

Keep it interesting and maybe a little silly for them.  Play and speak the part while reading.  If it’s a mouse talking, use a squeaky quiet voice and a deep loud one for the lion.  The smiles and laughter will be your reward.

Ask Questions

Get your child involved in the story.  Ask them what they think or what might happen next.  If you keep their brain working, they are less likely to get ‘bored’ of it.

No Excuses

Even if you haven’t got a book, you can make a story up as you go.  Besides, they are often more entertaining than any story from a book.

Point and Read

It’s important to point to the word you are reading, as your child is developing word association.  They may not be able to read yet, but they can recognize letters, sounds and words.

Keep It Positive

A child that wants  to listen to stories, is a happy child, at least when it’s time to read.  By stopping while your child still wants to hear more, you are helping to keep things positive.  If you go on and on, it may turn your little one off of ‘story time,’ and nobody wants that.

Let Them ‘Read’

Even if they can’t read yet, pick out a word for them to recognize and every time you point to it they will ‘read’ it.  With this you are keeping them involved, while building their confidence. Use these tips to help you connect with your child during reading time.  Do it regularly and you’ll both reap the rewards!


students love repetition (10)

Jo Jones

Do you want to spend some quality time with a child?  Get a book and spend some time together reading aloud.  Here are some tips that can make your time better.Where you read is important.  Pick a quiet corner if you are reading to only one child.  You do not want any external activities to intrude on your reading time.  Make sure there is comfortable seating for both you and the child.  If there are illustrations in the book, sit so you can share them as you read.  If at all possible, set up a special place to read. If you are reading to a group make sure there is room for everyone.  Be sure to share all of the illustration with the group before you turn the page and continue the story.  Group reading requires a few more rules.  Everyone needs to listen during the story, but time should be set aside for those who want to share after the book is finished.  That means you need to listen as well as read.  This is also true when you are reading to only one child.

Pick your book with care.  Look at the age of the child you are reading to.  If the child is very young choose a book with a simple story and colorful illustrations.  For older children, you can pick longer books and even books that cannot be read in one sitting.  It never hurts to leave them wanting more.After you have finished the book, leave it where the child can “read” it by themselves.  This is a very important step in helping the child develop a love of books.

Children love repetition.  Don’t be surprised if they have a special book they want you to read over and over.  Read that favorite book but have another on hand to read as well.  Eventually the favorite books will be replaced with another.  For a book that has been a long time favorite, buy a copy for the child to keep and read any time they want. You need to set the mood when you read aloud to any child.  Look at when you are going to read.  What else are you trying to do besides read a book?  Are you reading before bedtime?  Turn down the lights and read a story that lets you use a soft voice.  Are you reading to a group that will be doing something physical after story time?  Pick an action-filled story.  You can even pick a story that allows some participation on the children’s part.   Sometimes you will just be reading because it is a good story.  Be sure to say so.  After all, reading is supposed to be fun. So make sure you share your joy in reading.

to be a memorable adventure (11)

Jennifer Foster

One of the most wonderful things about reading a book is being able to loose yourself in the pages and use your imagination to join the adventure.  Whether you and your children choose to visit the high seas with a notorious pirate, take a quiet walk to the duck pond, or simply get ready for bed with a loveable character, it is sure to be a memorable adventure.  As an adult, there are several things to remember when reading to children to help them get the most enjoyment out of each story.


Set The Mood

A very fun way to help bring the characters alive in stories is by setting the mood of the story in real life.  For example, if it is rainy and gloomy outside, choosing a story with similar surroundings will help the children relate to the characters in the book and really connect with the story.  If you are reading a book about camping, try climbing into a dark closet and read with a flashlight for added mood.  In addition to physical surrounding, emotional moods are important to look at too.  For times when you want the children to be active, choose a book about dancing or adventure.  On the contrary, if bedtime is the goal, books about dreaming or calming topics will help settle down the little ones easier.

Use Voices and Sound Effects

Each character or action in a book can further be enhanced by the style of reading.  Kids love to hear “extra” sounds to help them remember or enjoy the story.  This can be something as simple as clapping to simulate a loud disturbance or whispering to mimic a character in the story.  Animal sounds, nature noises, and funny voices will keep kids interested and enjoying every page!

Encourage Participation

If there is one thing that every kid loves it is helping out!  When reading a story, find ways to let the children participate and “help” make the story their own.  Perhaps turning the page is your little one’s favorite activity, or maybe it is pointing out parts of the picture that they find fascinating.  It may even be letting them pick out the book and then put it away after reading.  Whatever the task, letting them be apart of the process is a great way to instill a love of reading in them at a young age.

Enjoy Reading

A final thing to remember when reading aloud to children is to enjoy the story yourself!  Kids will notice if you are bored or if you try to rush the story along.  By truly being interested and enjoying the book, you will set a great example for your children!

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